Does the Organization of Capital No Longer Matter? Employers and Active Labor Market Policy in the 21st Century

Saturday, June 25, 2016: 4:15 PM-5:45 PM
105 Dwinelle (Dwinelle Hall)
Axel Cronert, Department of Government, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Conventional wisdom among welfare state scholars has it that corporatist arrangements, which foster employer participation in policy making, are crucial for enabling a successful expansion and implementation of active labor market policy (ALMP). This article argues instead that the prevalence of corporatist interaction has a positive effect on a particular type of ALMP programs, namely those that are produced with the involvement of employers – and particularly so those that are jointly produced by employers and the state. Evidence of these patterns is provided from two panel data studies on contemporary ALMP program implementation; among the EU Member States and among Swedish municipalities, respectively. In contrast, both studies find little or no relationship between the prevalence of corporatist interaction and the overall size of the ALMP portfolio. This suggests that the conventional wisdom might be overstating the centrality of corporatism, at least with respect to the development of social and labor market policy in the 21st century.